McCaul: ‘Disturbing’ That FBI Never Mentioned File on Tamerlan to BPD

'We still see the dots not being connected, information not being shared'

• May 9, 2013 2:25 pm


Rep. Michael McCaul (R., Texas) told MSNBC he heard "disturbing" testimony Thursday about Boston Police Department officers on the Joint Terrorist Task Force not being briefed by the FBI about Russian intelligence on suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

The testimony came during a House Homeland Security hearing on the Boston bombings, and McCaul said Police Commissioner Ed Davis told Congress he would have acted differently with that information on hand. Even with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, McCaul said inter-agency cooperation leaves something to be desired, with "dots not being connected, information not being shared."

LUKE RUSSERT: Something I found fascinating and watching this hearing was that the Boston police had three detectives, they were part of the Joint Terrorist Task Force, and the FBI never once mentioned to them that they had a file on Tamerlan and they were concerned about his activities. After we created the Homeland Security Department after 9/11, how is that possible? Where did we miss here?

MCCAUL: I think that was the most disturbing thing about the testimony. I heard today when I asked him questions about, you know, you had Boston Police Department officers on this task force, and yet they were not provided with the critical information of the Russian intelligence lead, the FBI investigation, the CBP flag that went up regarding his overseas travel. When I asked the commissioner at the very end, ‘Had he known this, would he have done something differently,' his answer was ‘Yes, I would have.' And that's the sad part of this story. You know, I think Senator Lieberman brought a lot of richness to the hearing today, in terms of his breadth of experience with these matters, that you can't be right all the time, but it is just 1 percent if they get in, and they got in this 1 percent. After 9/11, DHS was created to bring down the stove pipes and yet we still see the dots not being connected, information not being shared.

The Associated Press reported FBI agents did not tell Boston police they had receiving warnings from Russia's government in 2011 about suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and had performed a cursory investigation, Davis told Congress Thursday, in the first hearing into last month's terror attack on the Boston Marathon:

Davis said that none of four people he had assigned to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force was aware that the FBI investigated the vague warning, found nothing and had closed the file. One of his detectives was in the dark despite being assigned to the unit that investigated Tsarnaev, Davis said.

"They tell me they received no word about that individual prior to the bombing," Davis said.

Published under: Congress, MIchael McCaul, Video